Sunday, May 27, 2007

Foxwoods Friday

Friday saw the end of my most recent training engagement in Windsor, Connecticut. In celebration, I headed an hour down the road to Foxwoods for some food and poker. I’ve been to Foxwoods before. It is a big and very nice facility. The poker room must have somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 tables in an area that is quiet (for a poker room), smokeless, and out of the way of the main casinos.

If I have a complaint about Foxwoods it would be the staff. Maybe it is because they are New Englanders or maybe they are overworked, but I didn’t meet one that wouldn’t have used a gun on themselves or someone else the moment. If I asked for change, I got a grunt in return. Ask the dealer for a rules clarification and you get another grunt. I saw one unfortunate fellow remind the waitress that he ordered a water and he got an ear full about how she is only one person and human and that she sometimes makes mistakes and on and on.

My play whet well. I’ve been concentrating hard on not making crying calls late in hands and I did pretty well on this point. Several times when I laid down a good hand to a river bet, I was shown that I was beaten. Many river bets didn’t receive a call. This made the difference in a winning and losing night.

I started out with some $2-4 limit as a warm-up. The game was loose as a goose, but I played by the book, looking for a little better than average starting hand and winning slightly less than my share. I played for about an hour and left down $9.

My next stop was the $1-2 no limit game. This was a good solid game. I only brought my $91 from the 2-4 table making me a bit under-funded. Winning the first hand with pocket 7s helped loosen things up. That first dealer, we will call him Christopher (since that was his name), was the biggest pain in the ass. He was not happy about the managers. He complained that they screwed up the rotation and his break. He kept holding up the game by looking around for someone or something that never did happen. My stack rose and fell for the next 2 hours until we lost 2 players, the time was called (yes, they charge $5 per half hour) and Christopher returned. I decided it was time to leave. I lost another $30 at this table.

The funniest thing I heard while at the $1-2 table was right after a 20 something guy sat down on my right as time was called. He said “Wow! You guys really stick it to the players here. We don’t get a pat of butter or nothing. You just go right to it.” I still don’t know what that meant, but I enjoyed it.

My final stop was the $4-8 limit game. This table has a little bit of life with some slightly drunk and very happy players. I put my remaining $61 on the table and decided to be patient. I hit a nice set of aces to get me back up for the night and then a loooong dry spell that put me down about $100. It was at this point with about an hour left to play that I decided that I would be happy to get back to even and call it a night. I caught a couple of really nice hands including one paired ace on the flop and rivered a second pair for a nice suck-out.

Then, as if right on cue, the deck hit me right between the eyes. I saw my preflop junk flop a full house. The next hand saw more junk flop two pair and turn a full house. Two hands later my junky suited ace rag flopped a nut flush. And on it went like this for about 8 of ten hands. Too bad that I wasn’t playing in any of them. Yep. I got to watch as hand after hand that would have gone to me went to other players. I was ahead and finishing up the night super tight to preserve my winnings ($6). But I played my game and did what I planned to do at that stage of the night. Part of the game is self-discipline. It is necessary, and I don’t want a hand or two that would have been a winner to suck me into playing hands that I should fold. It’s just hard to watch sometimes.

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